Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin maintained that “the U.S. remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue. But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all the options necessary to keep the U.S. secure”. He added: “Iran’s actions in recent months have not been encouraging – especially because of the expansion of their nuclear program… But if Iran comes back with constructive positions, we still think we can quickly resolve our lingering differences to make a mutual return to the JCPOA possible”. On the regional front, Austin contended that “Iran stokes tensions in this region and beyond”, while noting: “Iran’s neighbours have tried to talk and improve relations. We fully support those efforts… whatever Iran decides, we will continue to work closely with our partners”.
Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.